Cleaning Rod/Jag Question

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BruceL

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I'm new to muzzleloading and have a Kibler .50 cal Colonial Flintlock Rifle Kit that I'm building. I've looked at the Track of The Wolf website and think that I've selected the correct items to order but would like some input to be sure I'm on the right track:

- Cleaning rod: 5/16" stainless,10-32 thread, 44" long rod? I used the ram rod in the kit to measure to see if the cleaning rod with a jag attached ? Barrel bore length is 43". Is 44" rod length OK?
-Cleaning Jag: .50 cal 7/16" rod, 10-32 thread. The rod and jag thread sizes are the same but jag size is 7/16" and cleaning rod 5/16". I assume that the jag size has to be larger to properly hold the patch?
-Ball puller: For .50 cal with steel screw. There's one with a plane screw and one with a brass collar. Is one a better choice than the other?
-Ball size: From what I've read the .49 round ball should be the correct size for .50 cal. rifle?
-Patch puller: corkscrew worm, steel, brass base, 10-32 thread. Sound like the right one?

I've learned a lot so far from all the good folks here in this forum and you tube videos and muzzleloader magazines. Once the gun is complete a local experienced black powder shooter has already invited me to be his guest at a nearby range in Newton, NH for my first shoot.
Thanks.
 

curator

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Looks like you have all your bases covered. My only caveat is the jag's construction. The jag's base being 7/16" should not be a problem. However, with a slightly smaller loading rod diameter, I would be certain that the jag's threaded shank is steel not brass. Many, but not all brass jags have a brass threaded portion that is easily broken off. With steel threads, this is less likely. For "ball pullers" pick the one with the brass collar as it will center the pulling screw and prevent it from damaging the bore by going off center. If your barrel is provided with a threaded touch hole liner that can be easily removed, you will never have to use the ball puller.
 

Grenadier1758

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BruceL, you have chosen a great rifle for your first venture into traditional muzzle loading.

The jag will add an inch to an inch and a half to the length of your rod.

You do want the ball puller with the collar for reasons curator mentioned.

I also recommend that you get the accessories with a steel thread. I''ve had to shoot our a couple of brass threaded jags.

You are not asking about the accessories you need to have at hand when you start shooting. You need a volumetric powder measure. I recommend unlubricated patching of 0.015" to 0.020" thickness. Initial patch lubricant will be applied when loading and can be all sorts of things from spit to exotic mixtures. I think using the liquid dishwashing detergent is good for the first outing. You will need the soap to clean up afterwards. Of course, black powder. Leave the substitutes at the gun store. Bring targets and take some pictures

Be prepared to have fun and get the name of the local muzzle loading addiction hot line from your mentor. There is always the Forum, but we have been accused of being enablers not recovery specialists, Unless its recovery from troubling questions about muzzle loading.
 

tenngun

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You will need to buy a bag of .490, .495,.500 and patch thickness from .10,-.20. To see which one shoots best.
I like wood over stainless steel or aluminum. Fitted with a brass tip you can screw your tips into. A ramrod puller can serve as a handle.
If you bought a kit from them they may have sent you a ‘ramming’ rod, buy some hickory rods from them to replace it.
In forty years I’ve broke two rods and those were many years ago, but for some reason they multiply and I have a lot more rods then guns, I don’t know what’s going on in my closet when the lights are out.
 

Grenadier1758

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I forgot to mention that the steel working rod will need a rod guide/ muzzle protector.

Since patches are cheaper than round ball, get a variety of patches. You will have enough to do on your first outing so 0.490" balls will be a good start. You need to shoot your rifle about 100 times to just learn how to be familiar with shooting a flint lock rifle and maintaining your flint. After some of the rough edges are smoothed out, it will be time for load development and trying different sized balls.
 

BruceL

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Thanks Grenadier1758, tenngun & curator. All very helpfull suggestions. I've also ordered an adjustable powder measure, several patch sizes to try (.010,.015 & .020). Thought I'd try the .10 with wonderlube. Rod guide has a muzzle protector. Accessories for cleaning all have steel thread Vs. brass.

Any thoughts on flints? Sounds like there's lots of choices. I'm perhaps getting ahead of myself when it comes to sources for flints. Think I read that there's a source for high quality french and english flints but there are lots of different opinions?

On black powder, opinions seem to suggest staying away from black powder substitutes? Goex, Schuetzen and Swiss Black I've heard most about but doesn't it depend on what shoots best with my new gun? Also as a start once on the firing line, using 3F (50 grains) for main charge and lastly 4F smaller amount for the priming the pan seems to be suggested? Seems like I'll need to experiment on what works best for accuracy and target distance?

Thanks so much for your help guys. It sure makes starting out lots easier to help get thru the steep initial learning curve.
BruceL
 

Dibbuk

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BruceL, where are you located? If there is a muzzle-loading club nearby, they will be a wealth of information and education. A hands-on demonstration can beat reams of written words. A local club will also be able to help you find any accessories you might need. Welcome to a life-long addiction.
 

SDSmlf

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Thanks Grenadier1758, tenngun & curator. All very helpfull suggestions. I've also ordered an adjustable powder measure, several patch sizes to try (.010,.015 & .020). Thought I'd try the .10 with wonderlube. Rod guide has a muzzle protector. Accessories for cleaning all have steel thread Vs. brass.

Any thoughts on flints? Sounds like there's lots of choices. I'm perhaps getting ahead of myself when it comes to sources for flints. Think I read that there's a source for high quality french and english flints but there are lots of different opinions?

On black powder, opinions seem to suggest staying away from black powder substitutes? Goex, Schuetzen and Swiss Black I've heard most about but doesn't it depend on what shoots best with my new gun? Also as a start once on the firing line, using 3F (50 grains) for main charge and lastly 4F smaller amount for the priming the pan seems to be suggested? Seems like I'll need to experiment on what works best for accuracy and target distance?

Thanks so much for your help guys. It sure makes starting out lots easier to help get thru the steep initial learning curve.
BruceL
Missed if your gun has the radius bottom rifling. If it does, will likely shoot best with .020” or maybe a bit thicker patch. If square bottom, probably will find .015” or .020” works well. Would avoid pre-lubed patches, as they tend to breakdown over time. Wondelube can work, by at some point typically becomes a problem. Many have success with plain old spit for lube.

The subs will not work well, if at all in a flintlock without a small kicker load of real back powder under it. Just avoid the subs and you will avoid many of the issues people request assistance in solving over and over again. I’d suggest you start with fff for both main charge and priming the pan. Pick a powder and work with it until you have all the initial kinks worked out. 50 grains is good place to start. Change load in 5 grain increments up or down. Accuracy will come. Try and change only one thing at a time as you experiment.

You may want to get Dutch’s ‘System’. $20 or so and it will answer a lot of questions before you even realize there is a question. He can be contacted on the forum @Dr5x or http://blackpowderrifleaccuracy.com/.

One more thing, update your profile to let people know your general location. One on one help may be just around the corner from where you live.
 

Grenadier1758

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BruceL,
You will be needing flints soon enough for you to start thinking about them now. You should have flint installed in your firearm now. If that is throwing lots of sparks into the pan, measure it for that will be the size you want to order. Track of the Wolf, October Country and several other forms offer high quality English flints. When you order some add the special instructions to select flat on top and bottom. You will be better served by using flints that don't have a hump. Go to a resale shop and buy a men's leather single layer belt to cut pieces to wrap the flint.
 

BruceL

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Thanks SDSmlf and also Grenadier1758 for the additional suggestion on English flints. Flat top and bottom makes sense.
I'm ordering Dutch's System.
 

Brokennock

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You are not going to have much to hang on to with a cleaning and range rod only 1 inch longer than your bore. And, as someone else mentioned, you will need a muzzle protector.
I've been using a delrin rod for a range and cleaning rod for many years now. It is only used at home and on the range so I'm kind of okay with the break from historical accuracy. Some feel they are too flexible as a loading rod, I've never had an issue with that, I choke up on the rod the way one should with a wood rod, the shorter section between hand and muzzle acts stiffer. It also will take normal common brushes and jags so I can get them anywhere gun cleaning supplies are sold.
IMG_20150201_125517_721.jpg IMG_20150201_125610_808.jpg
 

Rifleman1776

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You already have a lot of good replies. But, I'll toss in a couple thoughts to help you get started. You said:
I assume that the jag size has to be larger to properly hold the patch?
This is a common misconception. The patch bunches up behind (on top) of the jag as it is pulled out. That is what holds it in place and gives it a good grip on the bore for cleaning. An overly large jag can cause problems.
Yes, steel is stronger than brass. But, I have many-many various jags, tips, etc. I have been using for half a century. Most, about 80%, are brass threaded. I have never broken one. If you cannot find what you want in steel don't let that stop you from buying what you need.
 

BruceL

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Thanks, Brokennock, for the response on the rod and the info. on the longer rod sold by MSM. I'll see how the one I ordered works out now that its been shipped and to Rifleman1776 for the explanation on how the jag removes the patch.I was able to order the tips with steel screws.
 

Dr5x

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Missed if your gun has the radius bottom rifling. If it does, will likely shoot best with .020” or maybe a bit thicker patch. If square bottom, probably will find .015” or .020” works well. Would avoid pre-lubed patches, as they tend to breakdown over time. Wondelube can work, by at some point typically becomes a problem. Many have success with plain old spit for lube.

The subs will not work well, if at all in a flintlock without a small kicker load of real back powder under it. Just avoid the subs and you will avoid many of the issues people request assistance in solving over and over again. I’d suggest you start with fff for both main charge and priming the pan. Pick a powder and work with it until you have all the initial kinks worked out. 50 grains is good place to start. Change load in 5 grain increments up or down. Accuracy will come. Try and change only one thing at a time as you experiment.

You may want to get Dutch’s ‘System’. $20 or so and it will answer a lot of questions before you even realize there is a question. He can be contacted on the forum @Dr5x or http://blackpowderrifleaccuracy.com/.

One more thing, update your profile to let people know your general location. One on one help may be just around the corner from where you live.
I CAN ALWAYS TELL WHEN PEOPLE ARE USING THE BEST PART OF MY SYSTEM WHEN THEY REFER TO THEIR PATCH THICKNESSES AS .010. .015 OR .020. THEYARE NOT EVEN TOUCHING MY BIG DISCOVERY..
THEY ARE SKIPPING ALL THE PATCH THICKNESSES BETWEEN .010 AND .020
MY ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY DEMONSTRATED WHAT A BIG DIFFERENCE A CHANGE IN THICKNESS AS LITTLE AS .--5 CAN MAKE IN ADJUSTING THE SIZE OF THEIR GOP.. USUALLY THE TIGHTER FIT AND THE LESS LUBRICATION CAN GIVE SURPRIZING RESULTS.
DUTCH SCHOULTZ
 

Maven

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Dutch is right about patch thickness and accuracy. Let me expound on this idea: Years ago I was using a .015" - .016" patch in two original T/C barrels to good effect (both .45cal. btw). I later purchased a new, .50cal Green Mt. (.490" RB) Drop In bbl., which I used with patches of the same thickness (and a T/C tang sight): Accuracy was terrible with that combination! I later wrote to Dutch for advise whereupon he advised using a thicker patch, .018" for example. I did and got stellar accuracy from that bbl. with a .490" RB that I cast. Hats off to Dutch!!
 

Dr5x

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Dutch is right about patch thickness and accuracy. Let me expound on this idea: Years ago I was using a .015" - .016" patch in two original T/C barrels to good effect (both .45cal. btw). I later purchased a new, .50cal Green Mt. (.490" RB) Drop In bbl., which I used with patches of the same thickness (and a T/C tang sight): Accuracy was terrible with that combination! I later wrote to Dutch for advise whereupon he advised using a thicker patch, .018" for example. I did and got stellar accuracy from that bbl. with a .490" RB that I cast. Hats off to Dutch!!
I USUALLY DON'T MAKE THAT KIND OF JUMP INPATCH THIVKNESSES BUT EXPERIMENT WITH LESSER INCREMENTS OF COMPRESSED PATCH THICKNESSES.

UDUALLY A TIGHTER FITTING PATCH AND NOT SO SLICK LUBRICATION.

NO ZZHAT'S OFF. IT'S FREEZING OUR EAS OFF HERE IN THE CENTRAL PLAINS AREAS.

DUTCH - A FELLOW MAVEN
 
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